Described as “a fearless player… as well as a musician with a keen sense of phrasing and color” (Gramophone), bassoonist Carolyn Beck is the Principal Bassoonist with the Redlands and San Bernardino Symphonies and performs with many other orchestras in the Los Angeles area. Her solo CD, Beck and Call, is available on Crystal Records.
She performs not only on her primary instrument, the modern bassoon, but also as a period music specialist playing the baroque bassoon. A champion of new music, she has commissioned and performed new solo works for bassoon in the United States and Canada.
Recent solo performances include playing the Joan Tower bassoon concerto with the Pomona College Orchestra in October 2014, the premiere of the Christopher James Bassoon Concerto in New York City in June 2012 with North South Consonance, performances of The Five Sacred Trees (concerto for bassoon and orchestra) by John Williams with the Redlands Symphony, and appearances at several International Double Reed Society conferences.
She was co-host of the 2013 International Double Reed Society conference in Redlands, California. She was formerly the Principal Bassoonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Orchesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.
Dr. Beck is a devoted teacher, and some of her former bassoon students have gone on to major music schools including Curtis, Eastman, Juilliard, and Manhattan School of Music. Some have won orchestra positions and others have become excellent music educators or excelled in other fields.
She currently teaches bassoon at the University of Redlands, Pomona College, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy.
When not playing, teaching, or listening to music, she enjoys reading, swimming, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her husband, trumpet player Bill Peterson.